The inaugural Clio Trophy France Terre will conclude this week on the Rallye Terre des Cardabelles. The season-finale promises to offer a tremendous battle as there is little in it among the three title contenders heading to Millau. With the crown at stake and an exceptional setting, the action promises to be as intense as you like in the south of France!
The battle for the title has been fascinating for the first-ever Clio Trophy France Terre season, thanks to the incredible performance and reliability of Clio Rally5 and the high quality of the competitors.
A two-time winner this year, Quentin Ribaud goes into the final round with his heart set on achieving the double after taking top honours in the Junior category. Although the leader has already secured an official programme in 2022 with Clio Rally4, managed by the team-title winning Fun Meca Sport structure, he leads John Laroche by just two points and is three ahead of Jean-Paul Monnin, who won in Langres. The meeting in Aveyron will be crucial to reach his goal, with the slightest position gained or lost possibly determining the title race.
With the general classification determined by the three best results of the year, the scenarios are numerous. Quentin Ribaud can seal the title if he wins, finishes second behind John Laroche or finishes ahead of his two rivals... However, if he comes second to Jean-Paul Monnin, the latter will snatch the crown from him by a hair’s breadth: two victories, a podium and a sixth-place versus two wins, a podium and a seventh-place!
The math is easier for Jean-Paul Monnin. He must finish ahead of the leader to have any chance of being crowned. He can also win the trophy if he finishes second and Quentin Ribaud finishes outside the top three... Provided that John Laroche doesn’t win, as this scenario could see him take the big prize!
In parallel to this battle, which will also decide the winner of the Challenge Réseau Renault and whose winner could place very nicely in the French Gravel 2WD Championship, other competitors will fight for the top places. Switzerland’s Sébastien Studer will aim for a second consecutive podium while Simon Heinemann will try to spray the champagne for the first time and Spain’s Marcel Abad wants to convert his speed by a solid result.
Plusieurs concurrents profiteront de la finale du Clio Trophy France Terre pour évaluer leurs options en vue de la saison 2022. Comme le veut le règlement, ces équipages seront présents au classement, mais inéligibles aux points afin d’être transparents dans la course au titre.
Several drivers will use the Clio Trophy France Terre final to evaluate their options for the 2022 season. As stipulated by the regulations, these crews will be in the classification, but ineligible to score points.
Currently fourth in the Clio Trophy by Toksport WRT, Bastien Bergounhe will return to the national scene and his favourite surface to race for the win. Previously spotted in the Clio Trophy France Asphalte, Loïc Mattei will also return to gravel for the first time since 2014 while Anthony Bartoli and Thomas Mouysset will make their debuts to measure themselves against the competition.
The penultimate round of the French Gravel Rally Championship, the Rallye Terre des Cardabelles will be run over ten stages. On Saturday, three timed sectors run twice will form the longest leg of the weekend, followed by two new stages to be run twice on Sunday. The rally route will total 155.2 kilometres of action.
#39 Quentin Ribaud – Melissa Ascensio (J)
#40 John Laroche – Damien Augustin
#41 Jean-Paul Monnin – Franck Gilliot
#42 Sébastien Studer – Maude Studer
#43 Simon Heinemann – Yves Heinemann
#44 Marcel Abad – Carles Cortes (J)
#45 Bastien Bergounhe – Mathieu Descharne (J)
#46 Loïc Mattei – Dominique Corvi
#47 Anthony Bartoli – Jonathan Ricard
#48 Thomas Mouysset – Lucas Gineste (J)
(J) : Juniors